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Qualtrics Aims for Silicon Valley-Like Success with New Building

Provo—Gov. Gary Herbert helped Qualtrics celebrate the grand opening of its new Provo headquarters on Thursday—not with a ribbon cutting, but with the swish of a basketball through the net. The governor made a basket, on his first try, on the basketball court embedded in Qualtrics’ lobby.

The basketball court is just one of many features in the building designed to cater to Qualtrics’ young, tech-savvy workforce. The workspace also includes an onsite diner, a play area for kids, open workspaces offset by quiet meeting rooms, treadmill desks and acres of outdoor space. Three dogs wandered among the gathered crowd during the grand opening, one interrupting CEO Ryan Smith’s remarks with an excited bark.

Smith laughed off the interruption, saying it’s just part of the Qualtrics experience.

In fact, speakers at the grand opening highlighted the similarities between the culture at Qualtrics and the culture of Silicon Valley.

“You can feel as soon as you step in the door that something magical is happening here. The last time I felt the same thing was when I joined Google, right before the IPO,” said Kim Scott, a Qualtrics board member who previously led operations at Google and has been an advisor to companies like Dropbox and Twitter.

Qualtrics has nearly doubled its workforce over the past year and now has roughly 1,100 employees. Scott said the growth has been “astounding,” adding, “let me tell you, it’s been a really wild ride so far, but it’s about to get even wilder. You’re about to have the most amazing experience of your careers.”

That hint at upcoming developments was echoed by Brian Schreier, a partner at Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital, an investor in Qualtrics.

“Qualtrics is, without a doubt in my mind, the most important pre-IPO software company at this time, of our time,” he said.

Schreier noted that Utah’s tech industry is tremendously strong overall.

“You guys have got like the Henry Ford manufacturing facility for awesome companies, world-changing, iconic companies. They’re everywhere,” he said.

For his part, Gov. Herbert said Qualtrics, which was founded by Ryan Smith and his father, Scott Smith, is proof that the “upward mobility of the American Dream is still alive and well.”